Sometimes it’s hard to believe that it was only four months ago that I moved into a house with Craigslist strangers. In that time, I have 1) not been murdered and 2) been exposed to dozens of people and concepts that have helped to make me hungry for new connections. Of course, there is a sense of bittersweetness to this. Because of the transitory state of many of my roommates, it almost goes without saying that all good things must come to an end.
April came and went so quickly that I’m in a state of denial about it at all. Hard to say if it was the uncharacteristically cool weather or the fact that a good deal of us were travelling was the cause of the rush. I guess I know the real reason: change was inevitable. Gizem, our dearly beloved Turk, was slated to leave on the 21st. As soon as I came to terms with that, another bombshell: Bill had accepted a position back home in Florida and would be leaving us the same day.
Of course we were all happy for our friends who would be returning to their family; but, there was the reality that our happy home would be losing bits of its heart. To make matters worse, we had to start interviewing for people to take the rooms right away. It was a hard process as we are all protective of our lifestyle and want people who gel with all of us (insert clichéd phrase about good vibes only). After a few phone calls and Skype meetings, we were pleased to meet a young medical student from Louisiana whom I will refrain from naming until such a time that I am given some semblance of “media” permission. I am looking forward to her arrival mid-May. We are still on the hunt for a second roommate, but there’s no doubt that someone good will come our way. No, not good: great.
In the meantime, we have enjoyed one another’s company. From dyeing eggs and drinking mimosas on Easter Sunday to each impromptu movie night, it has been a privilege to spend any amount of time with these wonderful people. I know I go on and on about how much I like my roommates, but I honestly think the world of them. So that’s why our final day together was so important. Since the beginning we talked about having a professional photo taken of all of us together. Now, you might be thinking: “Aw, that’s nice. Matching shirts? I bet it was cute.”
After all this time with us, you know that we did some above and beyond nonsense. The day of the photo, I peeked out of my room to gauge the “temperature” of the photo to see which one of the two fancy dresses I was going to wear. To my stupefaction, there was Michael on the staircase in a fancy suit with a fucking pocket square. “Are you kidding me?” I asked, laughing.
He chuckled and said, “Elzerie’s wearing a ball gown.”
Going upstairs, I found Elz wearing a stunning, full-length dress with a plunging neckline and open back. Claudia, too, was fully decked out in a fabulous ensemble. I’ll admit that I felt very poor. Back in my room, I pulled on my fanciest black dress and went back up to the master bedroom in search of some jewelry that would upgrade the look. Thank God for Claudia, the woman who’s always got my back. From her collection I wore a lovely necklace and a stole that made me look like an actual mobster (I’m reconsidering possible career paths).
Together in the living room, I was happy to see that Mitch, our kinda-sorta roommate, was taking the photograph with a very impressive camera. We waited for everyone to trickle in, oohing and ahhing as each addition came into the room. Gizem looked like an absolute queen in black and white stripes. Theresa also unwaveringly regal. Lark sassy in a perfect bird dress. Brennan in an actual pinstripe suit and mint shoes that has cemented him in my mind as an actual Southerner despite his being from California. And Bill, sweet Bill, in his best jeans and a fedora scrounged from the Claudia closet. We looked completely ourselves as we draped our bodies over furniture and looked intensely into the camera.
After, we changed (save Michael who likes to be fancy nearly everywhere he goes) and took 2 Ubers to our dinner reservation. I would like to state for the record that this is the first time we have ever gone out to eat en masse. We are a mess. As someone who has done a few tours of duty in the food industry, our party committed several cardinal sins. There’s drinking, every appetizer on the menu, too many pizzas, and a round of musical chairs when we realize we have segregated ourselves based on gender. We toast to the health of departing friends, try not to cry, and let the night fade into a warm sense of companionship.
The next day I headed for Portland and left my pets behind without much prep work. Let me publicly apologize to you all. I am an asshole. I greatly appreciate your sacrifice in taking care of my fur babies. I am sorry for taking advantage of your good nature because I get nervous about leaving my animals behind. It won’t happen again, you wonderful human beings. Thank you for letting Gideon run around and be wild and too much. Thank you for letting Mucha ruin your lives with his meowing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’m also sorry I missed the garden party. It’s looking real good.
Coming home was a big relief, too. Even though the vacation was necessary to my continued growth as a, y’know, human being, being with my roommates is always refreshing. While Lark and Brennan are away on their own mini-break, the remaining 5 of us went to a fancy birthday party in the city. I’ve taken on the Summer of Yes mentality and will now blindly go into any situation because I’m confident that everything works out in the end. And when you get into an Uber and Elzerie asks the driver if it’s okay to eat a biscotti in his car, how can anything really go wrong?
We went to the Liberty Hotel, a place I’d never been before, and saw ourselves to private party room that had been booked. We drank for free for two hours. We ate cheese. We broke off into groups and found ways to explain how we knew the birthday boy (Elzerie, Theresa, and I did not). Everyone but me left in search of Thai food. I made some new friends and danced with a glass of champagne. On the way home, after briefly believing that I had been forgotten, we got in a new Uber with our fast friend Abdul. The party didn’t stop there as we all piled back into the house to drunkenly make fried rice and grilled cheese. The perfect way to end the day. The perfect way to end a month.
Today marks one year of my blog. To look back on it now and see how far I have come is amazing to me. I can say, without a doubt, that my upward trajectory is due in no small part to these incredible people who have gone from strangers to people I couldn’t imagine my life without. To Bill and Gizem, know that we miss you but are also very happy and excited for the next chapter of your respective lives.
So, Bond House family, here’s to the adventures we’ve had and to many, many more. May we be as kind and generous with every iteration of our house as we are now.